I found this intriguing. "Only" "10 percent of whole, raw chickens
in the processing plants tested positive for Salmonella"--very
interesting. I'd be interested in seeing the comparative risk for
sprouts, too--one chance in...what?
SALMONELLA, SLAUGHTERHOUSE ISOLATES REDUCED - USA (04)
A ProMED-mail post
Date: Tue, 29 Sep 1998 11:07:06 -0400
From: "Robert A. LaBudde"
[In 1996, USDA issued regulations ("MegaReg") to attain pathogen
reduction in meat and poultry slaughtering facilities. These
regulations mandated in-house generic _E. coli_ sampling as well as
compliance sampling for Salmonella spp. The regulations incorporated
targets for slaughterers and also mandated sanitation standard
operating procedures and hazard analysis critical control point
("HACCP") plans. The following news items reflect early data from the
USDA compliance sampling program. -- RAL]
NEW USDA DATA SHOW CHICKEN IS 'SAFER THAN EVER,' NBC SAYS
September 28, 1998
National Broiler Council Press Release
WASHINGTON -- Cooperative efforts between the chicken processing
industry and the federal government are continuing to improve the
microbiological status of fresh chicken, according to Dr. Kenneth N.
May, technical advisor to the National Broiler Council. The latest
figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that only about
10 percent of whole, raw chickens in the processing plants tested
positive for Salmonella.
"The Salmonella rate was as high as 50 percent in the 1980's," Dr. May
said. "Industry efforts brought it down to 20 percent in 1996 and 16
percent in 1997. Now it's down to about 10 percent. Chicken is safer
than ever," he said.
Dr. May noted that USDA conducts only a "qualitative" test in which
the chickens sampled are either positive or negative for Salmonella.
Other scientific research over the years has shown that the actual
number of Salmonella cells on the chicken is extremely low. Salmonella
and other pathogenic bacteria on raw chickens are killed by the heat
of normal cooking.
Dr. May said processing plants have achieved better results by
installing new equipment, modifying their procedures, and adopting new
Larger processing plants have also implemented a process control
method known as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP),
in which plants monitor specific steps in processing to ensure that
quality is preserved.
"The industry has been moving in the right direction for more than a
decade," he said. "In addition, we ran our own pilot study of
innovations in processing in 1991 and demonstrated the effectiveness
of technological improvements."
[ex media sources, edited]
The USDA report also showed pig carcasses contaminated with salmonella
fell from 8.7 percent to about 5.5 percent.
The results also indicated that 88 percent of the largest U.S. meat
and poultry plants met salmonella test standards required by the USDA
under its new meat inspection rules.
Michele Gale-Sinex, communications manager
Center for Integrated Ag Systems
UW-Madison College of Ag and Life Sciences
Voice: (608) 262-8018 FAX: (608) 265-3020
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